VIOLENCE took centre stage at the MDC-T Manicaland provincial council meeting at Sakubva Beit Hall in Mutare on Saturday, as rival factions physically exchanged blows during selection of members of the electoral college ahead of internal elections to fill four vacant posts.
The opposition party members haggled for close to three hours before anti-riot police intervened and arrested two activists, Rutendo Biyuwa and Cosmas Muyambo, on public violence charges.
Rival factions accused each other of trying to manipulate the accreditation process in favour of their preferred candidates.
The meeting was meant to fill the secretary-general’s position, a post that was left vacant following the death of former Mutare mayor, Misheck Kagurabadza, who died in June this year, as well as the positions of deputy treasurer, deputy information, publicist and organising secretaries.
The party security details had a torrid time trying to restore order at the meeting, prompting provincial chairman, David Chimhini to seek police intervention from the nearby Chisamba Police Station.
MDC-T provincial spokesperson, Trevor Saruwaka said it was regrettable that rowdy elements came to disturb their meeting. He, however, said the meeting proceeded smoothly after the fracas.
“I think it was a very successful event. The objective of the meeting was to fill vacant posts and we are very sorry about the disturbances that happened. Always where there is a good thing there are few individuals who just want to disturb,” Saruwaka said.
“These were just few attention seekers, they did not have an objective complaint and all they wanted was just to disturb but anyway we achieved what we wanted at last,” he said.
David Tekeshe said the disturbances were caused by members of the MDC Renewal Team.
“These are people sent by Renewal Team, but I am excited we achieved our objective today that will see the party moving forward for good,” he said.
Ngaite Zimunya landed the provincial secretary general’s post while Tekeshe became deputy treasurer, Tangwara Matimba organising secretary and Allen Chinowaita (deputy secretary for information). newsday